Guidance

Applications to adjourn civil and family hearings because of coronavirus (COVID-19)

In certain situations fees may be set aside (waived) for applications to adjourn civil and family hearings.

The Lord Chancellor has authorised that in certain cases the fee can be waived for applications to adjourn a civil or family hearing.

From 19 March 2020 court staff may waive the application fee because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

HMCTS staff will consider the information provided, for example:

  • you have confirmed or suspected coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • you are self- isolating in line with NHS advice
  • you have childcaring responsibilities related to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Applications need to contain as much information as possible. It will not be necessary to provide medical certificates from a GP. The decision will remain with the judge, who will consider whether the hearing could take place using audio or video. In line with the Lord Chief Justice’s announcement, we would urge you to use the available time to explore the possibility for compromise before agreeing to requesting to adjourn the hearing.

If you do still wish to make an application, it should be made as soon as you know that you will not be able to attend court on the date that has been given for your hearing.

Include in your application:

  • the date of hearing
  • court case number
  • parties names
  • contact details e.g. email address, telephone number
  • the date you began your self-isolation or contracted the virus
  • if vulnerable to coronavirus your details e.g. age, health condition

Post your application to the County Court hearing your application. You will find contact details on the notice of hearing.

If a fee needs to be paid, a member of staff will contact you explaining the reasons why they have not been able to waive your fee.

If your fee has been waived a judge will consider your application to adjourn the hearing as quickly as is possible and we will tell you their decision.

It will not be possible to appeal the judge’s decision.

Published 20 March 2020